Who can see a stunning landscape

each morning and not want to explore?


Or the ocean, and not feel that tug

beyond the common horizon?


Look!  I’m offering you a boat, plus

I’ll do most of the paddling.


That feeling inside you, it’s gnawing

at you to reach out beyond yourself.


Life is a flea that bites you

so you’ll move your attention to the new.


What’s sacred, say a good poem,

coaxes you  – wade out from the shore

into the unknown, those wide-open spaces

inside you.


Hafiz, (tr Ladinsky and Rob).


Words/ cages; the 8th dwarf, his dictionary in Snow White’s lap; why attach when we have one

only one proto-solid heart anyway? Crop circles for example; and geese

to the Avon whose rustwire screech my brains out

in sleet back then I run. On one side, river –

the other first-breath. Let me go! the neighbour

laments from his shattered star. Mum

and me in Caernarfon on the castle bridge.

Come back! I need safe passage. How

many deaths in a flight of fancy?

The rules sketch appetite, fretwork. Illusion

and the felt unknown. I must phone home.

Found poem
‘The Most Perfect Thing’ by Tim Birkhead.
Guillemot Eggs

Black cap
Small blotch
Big blotch

Blots pepper
Scrawl scrawl
And blotch
White cap

Nose cap


Hair is funny

Boxes of it

Under the stairs


You open your mouth with it

Like straps of sinew

You rot through its hokusai voices


It is mobile as hate

The statues invade the gallery

The hour hand combs


braids through red

The clues ejaculate

Scene by scene


I have no scull

This is my bus –

Red dress. Nits


I’m being followed

By nothing


I have hidden



You are


Her.              Don’t


Leave me

With myself





with only you

not myself

not her


The world has short hair

The shop is filthy as smoke

This is my confession. I’m

on my way.

I stand on a carpet of your hair.

You mine.

We salute.

Are you afraid of bleach?

The ends are temporary

As red.



are first a kind of listening. I didn’t know what or who it was.


Family is opera, mild as shattering glass, subtle as sulking. The ‘room’ bloats and twists. Fear is air-borne, open-mouthed. Someone loves someone.


Distance – the pubs empty late in summer, walls yell to dull the fright, no football season, hot park sigh. None of this is voice.


Stop whining, they say. You can’t have any. Shut up.                                                                                      Then chocolate.


Voice is a means to an end, like a dental drill. The racing results are my closest friend, announcer’s odds-on surrealism . I learn.


Voice is out to touch. A reaching out. How withdraw? Suck back into what seems to have an inside; (turns out not).


One; can someone come now? Two; can someone give me something sweet to love? Will someone remove this persistent ghost? They do so. (Shut up; stop whining.) Lemonade.


So tiring. the pleading. the explaining how bad it hurts. Mum’s on the phone to Old Nick. He’s from Bootle.


My voice the storyteller. Relishes the rise and fall. And rise. Terror of the fall down the well, the climb up the beanstalk. I love you. Voice of movies, songs. Accent of adoration. the pledge and the standing-up- for.


My part of town, my city, my river, my bus stop, yard, my team, my mum, my brother, my mates, my sisters, my music, my girls, my teachers, my gods; my wife my kids. I say so.


The perfect footpath through the red sea is a long guttural tongue hot and swollen with mumps and arrogance. We win the league through speaking like this. Who the fuck are you?


Not everyone is so lucky. This French girl on the London coach thinks I’m Swiss. I decide to shut up but am unable to. She talks funny. We kiss.


Overheard In the Butchers.


He won’t eat meat;

bad for his feet.

Butcher growls.